Mind that as long as COVID-regulations are in place, events may be happening in a different format, be canceled, postponed, or switch to online. Please read our COVID-protocols before signing up.

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Consent, Power and Abuse in Sexuality Workshops and Festivals

March 15 @ 20:00 - 22:00 CET

This is a co-creation with Rupert James Alison, The Art of Consent hosted by Vermilion Community.

If you would like to join this workshop and you are not a member of Vermilion, please join Vermilion Facebook group and answer the 4 membership questions.

Consent, Power, and Abuse at Sexuality Workshops and Festivals Monday 15 March, 7-9PM GMT on Zoom with Rupert James Alison and Wilrieke Sophia.
Vermilion are delighted to be hosting Rupert James Alison and Wilrieke Sophia again for their workshop: Consent, Power and Abuse at Sexuality Workshops and Festivals.
Just as in many other areas of life, stories continue to emerge about teachers of tantra, yoga, spirituality, sexuality, and personal development who have abused their power.
Past students are increasingly finding the self-confidence and support to come forward with shocking tales of bullying, gaslighting, assault and even rape, by the very leaders and facilitators in whom they had invested huge amounts of money, time and trust in the hope of healing and learning.
Listening to these stories, it becomes apparent that the same unhealthy power dynamics – from the relatively minor to the seriously abusive – are played out again and again, in many different organisations and schools.
People usually come to workshop spaces to learn, heal and develop self-awareness, by opening themselves up to new practices and experiences. Such work can be extremely powerful and valuable. However, this opening up requires vulnerability and trust, and if it is taken advantage of by those setting themselves up as authority figures, it can be an especially bitter betrayal. Instead of healing, there may be (re-)traumatisation.
This workshop is part of an ongoing project to support workshop participants to keep themselves safe, empowered, and in consent when they step into new and unfamiliar learning experiences. It is also intended to help facilitators avoid the pitfalls of falling into shadow power dynamics with their participants, which is often not included as part of their training.
This workshop is an iteration of one we ran in September, in which we introduce a system of coloured flags:
Red Flags – Serious malpractice, avoid. Signs of criminal, abusive or highly manipulative teaching styles and group dynamics.
Orange Flags – Approach with caution. Major issues and/or teaching styles which might be okay for some people if they know what they’re getting themselves into, but might be upsetting or traumatising for others.
Yellow Flags – Room for improvement. Many well-meaning teachers and schools operate within a ‘murky’ zone of vague agreements, lack of transparency, and unclear boundaries. Most teachers have a few yellow flags!
Green Flags – Best practices. Including: awareness of power dynamics, including cultural oppression, trauma-awareness, gold-standard consent practices and clear ethics and accountability.
The flags are intended as a starting point to encourage awareness, provoke discussion, empower participants and offer self-reflection for facilitators. Depending on the size of the group, we may use optional breakout rooms to facilitate sharing opportunities in smaller groups.
Rupert and Wilrieke are not ‘experts’, but we have some experience in this field. We will describe each of the flags, giving real-life examples from our experience. There will also be plenty of space for questions, reflections and group sharing.
The workshop is not intended as ‘therapy’ – but we will encourage and support self-care as we approach this potentially challenging material. We will provide links to further resources, and we may follow this workshop with further educational workshops, sharing circles, and/or a survivor support group.
Rupert James Alison (he/him) was recruited by an abusive Buddhist yoga group in his twenties. Since then he has worked with a variety of teachers of different embodiment practices: some were brilliant and highly ethical, others were brilliant and unethical; some had integrity in some areas but not in others, and almost none of them had any kind of stated ethical position to which they could be held accountable. Going forward, we need to do much better. Rupert is an accredited facilitator of Betty Martin’s Wheel of Consent, and has a vision of consent which is embodied, trauma aware, takes full account of toxic power dynamics, and is framed within social justice.
Wilrieke Sophia (she/her, they/them) grew up in a mix of toxic relationships between adults and being bullied. The researcher that she is, she collected the data and combined that with data of her own adult relationships, as well as some unhealthy power dynamics she observed in the world of tantra and intimacy around her. Besides creating her own workshops on personal growth through intimacy (Cuddle Workshops, neo-tantric influences, kink, ritual, eros, and sacred European plant medicine), she has spent years developing structures for consent and ethics for intimacy based workshops.
Tickets are on a sliding scale, please pay what you can afford: £5/10/15 with 2 free (please contact Vermilion – vermilioncommunity@gmail.com – to obtain these).
Please use free tickets responsibly – if you have a free ticket and do not use it/give us sufficient notice to pass it on, you will not be eligible to use a free ticket again for a month from the event date.




March 15
20:00 - 22:00 CET
Event Category:
View Event Website


View Venue Website


Exploring Deeper
The Art of Consent